Tell the world how you got into surfing.
I surfed a lot when I was younger and then I kind of just stopped when I got more serious with other sports. I put it on the back burner, but once I moved from Santa Cruz down to San Diego for college, I figured I had no excuse not to surf.
And so I basically just started from scratch. I lost any skill that I used to have. I just grabbed my dad’s board and started going out and was just pearling and cutting people off and being the worst. It took a while to get back to where I had been and get better, but I’m so glad that I stuck it out because it’s really been a fulfilling part of my life for the past couple of years.
Is surfing awesome? Explain.
Surfing is awesome for so many different reasons. It’s an hour or two a day that you can spend with no technology- you don’t have your phone, you don’t have your work or your email. There’s nothing better than being out in the ocean surfing with friends. And surfing friends are the best; just cool, mellow people. They usually listen to good music, which is key. They enjoy food and generally do fun things.
I’ve found they’re just a really great, holistic people.
Speaking of friends, that’s how I’ve met and actually fostered some of my greatest relationships in the past several years. I wouldn’t have met these people without surfing. So it’s definitely an amazing aspect of getting back into surfing.
There’s people running right now behind you.
Yeah, exactly. Well, I haven’t done anything athletic this morning whatsoever, but we’ll get there.
What boards are you riding these days?
My favorite is my log that I made. It’s 9’6” and it’s a banana boat. Yellow, huge and so fun. You literally don’t need to paddle into the wave, you just lean forward and you’re in it. And then a board that my boyfriend made me – an 8’6” mini Malibu. That’s the board I started really learning on. I love that board. I have a really strong connection to it – its basically the board I rode throughout the time I struggled to relearn surfing. It’s the board I credit to making surfing so much fun for me.
So wait… surfing can be frustrating? No. Way.
Oh man. Surfing can be the most frustrating. You go out and you suck for so long.
You keep going out and keep making the same mistakes and you’re trying to work on the concept but your brain doesn’t translate to your movements until one day you pop up and it just clicks and you’re like ‘oh wait, that’s how I’m supposed to do it.’ And then you do a little bit more and you do it a little bit faster and a little more fluid and next thing you know, you’re like ‘I can surf’ and it’s fucking great.
So whenever I talk to people that are just learning — and I’m still learning myself – I tell them to keep doing it because one day it’s going to click and you’re going to have a hobby you can do for the rest of your life. Look at those old grandmas and grandpas out there all the time and they shred and they’re having a blast – and they’re like, 70. That will be you if you just get over this frustrating period. So stay in it. Don’t quit. Stay in it.
I love you, haha. What else is going on in your world? Does it have any tie to surfing or do you keep your worlds apart?
So, I’m in a communications graduate program at San Diego State. I did two different projects – the first one about localism and how surfing is really a communicative based sport. Unless you’re on the world tour or whatever, there are no rules. There’s no referee out there to say ‘You take this wave, your turn now.” It’s all based on communication and how you work with other surfers and the ocean. It was really interesting to look at how much this sport is based on human interaction and how the rules are dictated through localism and communication.
I also studied gender identity in surfing – how certain aspects of surf culture are really masculine and others are really feminine. I found a lot of instances where surfers are the ones who bring both aspects of masculinity and femininity together in harmony. It was more of a feel good project than an ethnographic study or anything. Mostly, it was cool to integrate something I love so much into my schoolwork.
What’s the best part of surfing, besides when I bring the Nikonos out?
Oh those are the best days. Really, I love when I see other girls in the water. I get really stoked because it’s typically a male-dominated sport but we’re kind of taking over and it’s cool. I get a little jealous when people are better than me but hey, it just makes me want to try harder. I don’t know why more girls don’t surf, really – it’s fun and the guys are really cool. I don’t feel intimidated by guys. It’s a very fun vibe. So surf if you’re a girl – don’t be scared.
Hallie will surf with you, everyone.
I will, I totally will! Come hit me up, I’m usually friendly… Usually. Most of the time.
Surfing is the best. It is something that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and something I want to keep doing for the rest of my life. I will be one of those grandmas paddling out, for sure. It’s given me so much and it’s continually giving me more.
And join me – every time I go to the beach from now on I’m picking up ten pieces of trash before I leave. And you’ll be surprised how much trash you can pick up. It only takes 30 seconds to pick up ten pieces of trash, which is sad. Every time you go to the beach, take an extra minute or so and pick up ten pieces of trash. Let’s make the water better.
Where are we now?
Right now we’re at La Jolla Shores, and it’s actually hot as shit. The waves are kind of poopy, so we’re going to go to breakfast and then try again later. It’s usually a fun little logging spot, but it’s big and choppy right now.
I’m excited for this. And I’m sorry I just went off. Edit the shit out of this please.
Any last words, oh wise one?
My last words of advice? Be stoked. Life is too short to not be happy and excited all the time and what better way to be stoked than to integrate nature and your friends and athleticism?
Whatever it is you enjoy doing, be stoked on it.